You can’t turn off the shutter sound in iPhone

Note: this article is a part of the series iOS issues.

Problem

There is no way to remove the shutter sound on an iPhone except putting the phone into silence mode! This makes a relation between two irrelevant features: your phone’s ring tone and notification sounds will be controlled by the same button that you are forced to use for shutting up the camera. If you take a photo in silent mode and forget to turn on the sound, you will probably miss your calls or notifications. If you remember to turn on the sound, you may take the next photo with the shutter sound.

A lot of people have this issue. And the only way they have found is to put the phone into silent mode. The main issue is using the same control for two different functions. This is a mapping problem.

Some people pointed out that phone companies have to embed the shutter sound by law in certain countries. Well the fact that they allow silencing it, is contradictory to this compliance.

Probably the reason is to make a sound so people will notice if you are taking a photo of them. But what if you are not taking a photo of them? From my personal experience, you’ll most probably annoy people around you when taking a photo. For example:

  • in a library you are taking a photo from a book title or magazine to read later
  • in the classroom when you want to take note from the whiteboard instead of wasting time re-writing it at the same time the teacher is teaching it
  • in the coffee shop when you want to take a photo from your receipt for archive reason
  • in your kids bedroom when you want to take a photo of your dearest while they are asleep
  • or just documenting a crime without taking getting attention or being a victim to it

There can be many other scenarios where you need to take a photo silently, but you can’t disable one of your phone’s core functionalities and remember to turn it on after that!

Solution

Add an option for turning off the camera shutter sound. Ideally with a drop down menu that allows changing the sound and silencing it.

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